I’ve been doing some thinking lately and wondering why I just felt “off”. Not depressed, anxious, worried, angry (although at times I do feel these emotions) I just feel “off”. Like something is not right. Today after some prayer, quiet time and reflection it hit me….I’m just not happy. Satisfied: yes, contented: mostly, optimistic: most of the time, but happy? No. I tried to remember when the last time was that I felt truly happy and couldn’t remember. That’s not to say that I don’t have happy moments, but I haven’t been in a happy state of mind for a long time. So most of this journal will be my quest to find my happy again. I have a long way to go and will probably discover many more areas that need to be overhauled as I go along. I have another journal here that is focused on the day-to-day living that I do but wanted to create a whole new one that is devoted to my pursuit of happiness!
First of all some background. This will be long and may cover more than one entry, we shall see how long my fingers hold out. 🙂 I’d always been a happy, upbeat, optimistic person. That is just my personality, but in looking back and doing some soul searching the best I can figure that long about 1999 I started to become….jaded maybe? I don’t know but it seems as if 17 years ago is when I started a string of unfortunate events that got me to where I am today. Some events were out of my control and some not as you will discover as you read on. It seems as if one thing after another kept occurring and I’d no sooner recover from one (sometimes not even recover completely) until another would jump up and bite me in the butt. I believe that God let me get alone, and lonely, and at my bottom so that I would look to Him for answers. I did and still do and while, like I said at the beginning, I am content and satisfied I am not truly happy. As a Christian and a child of the holy Father I should be. He has been showing me for quite some time that I need to make some changes in order to live the best life I can for me and my family. Why haven’t I made those changes? Fear….of the unknown, of rejection, of looking like a fool, of being vulnerable, of change, pure laziness…all these reasons and probably more. But back to 1999…..My mother was entering the last year of her life as this year began. It was a long time from the start of her decline until the end in November of that year. A year of hospital, ICU and nursing home stays. Dialysis 3 times a week, watching her waste away and die right before our eyes. The funny thing is that none of us ever uttered the words, “Mom is dying.” I think it was probably denial, we just didn’t want to see the truth. I look back now at pictures that were taken of her that year and wonder how could we have been so blind!? It’s kind of sad really that we didn’t confront it….we’d have all been able to say goodbye in a good way while she was still with us enough to hear it. My father was a career criminal who died in prison serving 5 life sentences for murder. My mom, myself, sister and brother were the family unit. With her gone our anchor was gone as well. We kept in touch and stayed close but it wasn’t the same. My 16 year old daughter gave birth to my first grandchild in 1999 as well. While her birth was a happy event it was also stressful as DM and I learned to adapt to having a newborn in the home, In November of 2001 my brother died suddenly of an aortic aneurism. He was my rock and my best friend and confidant and I took his death extremely hard. My (at that time) romantic relationship was on the rocks and I looked to Dave to vent to and give me much needed, thoughtful and truthful advice. If he thought I was wrong he would not hesitate to tell me so! lol The relationship was failing because of his drug addiction. In the past when Jim and I met I was a very occasional drug user and never more than weed. I drank almost daily at when he and I met as well. After the birth of my granddaughter SM I decided that it was time to lay it all down and I quit drinking or doing anything else that was mind altering in October of 2000. When I did that I started to see how deep Jim’s drug use was and that it was actually a full blown addiction. Anyone who has ever loved an addict knows how horrific life is with them. When Dave died I decided that life was too short to live like that any longer and in the beginning of 2002 I told him we were through and he’d have to move out. He requested a few months to save some money for deposits and such and I gave him that, but in the fall of 2002 when he was still there and showing no signs of going anywhere I packed all his clothes up when he was out on a bender for 4 days. When he came home to shower and change to go to work, I loaded all his stuff in the trunk of his car. After he arrived at work I told him that his stuff was in the trunk and not to come back. We kept in touch and I’d told him from the beginning that if he ever got clean and meant it I would definitely take him back. I truly did love him. Our birthdays are 4 days apart in February and I called him in 2003 to wish him a happy birthday. When mine came 4 days later with no call from him, it was the end. I never called him again and he never made contact with me. He died in 2010 of lung cancer. When it became obvious that he and I were splitting, and I’d have to pay all the bills myself, I took some classes through my work in the nursing home, and became the Activity Director. It was much higher pay than I earned in dietary. I was also a department head which gave me many other perks as well. I was doing pretty good at that time (the beginning of 2003)….money wasn’t tight for the first time that I could remember, my daughter DM, was out on her own with her daughter SM, she was involved with a decent man and was expecting my first grandson GA1. In the spring of that year I was involved in a relationship with a man from my past. SE and I had reconnected and saw each other on a semi-regular basis. Nothing super serious but we had a lot of good times. He lived 2 hours away so we didn’t see each other daily but I was loving my alone time and independence and was satisfied with the way things were. In the beginning of December of 2004, our facility was bought out by an much bigger company and we were forced to shut down and have all our residents moved. Most employees were offered jobs but very few of the department heads were. They didn’t need 2 of all of them so I was out of a job. Oh they did offer me a position with much lower pay and a farther drive and I just couldn’t bring myself to take it. I could make more money staying in town and working fast food which I did. It was a huge blow to my ego though, to leave a high paying, decent job and then have to go and flip burgers. But it was humbling as well and taught me to never get too sure of myself or become too prideful!! My sister worked at the same facility as I did and she never really took the loss of her job well. She became a full blown alcoholic at this time and was having lot of issues with her family over her drinking. She and her husband divorced, her boys weren’t speaking to her and she pretty much lost everything and ended up living in a camper in a year round mobile home resort by the lake. By the spring of 2005 I was chugging along but was getting deeper and deeper in debt each month. I was not used to having to live poor again and was trying to live my old lifestyle on less than half the money I was making before. I had to take a 2nd job in a grocery store as a cashier to keep the electric on. At that time I met a man, WL where I worked. He was a regular customer and he and I became friendly and started talking outside of work. About the same time SE and I seemed to be drifting apart so we called it quits. After that WL and I started dating. In September of 2005 I fell and severely broke my arm. I was not going to be able to work either job for at least 3 months….I had no insurance or income and now had medical bills. It was getting colder and my gas had a past due amount from the previous winter so I had no heat. I held out as long as I could but in November, after he and I dating for only 5 months, I moved in with WL. I rented out my mobile home which gave me some income to contribute and I thought things were finally looking up….boy was I wrong!! lol WL is quite a bit older than I am (18 yrs) and while he is younger looking and acting, there are still some things that were definitely old school. He expected to be the boss and have me submit to his every whim and I wasn’t about that. He also had lived alone for 20 years before I came along and he was very set in his ways. I tried to respect his wishes but he was impossible to get along with. One thing that might be okay one day was deemed not okay the next. In addition he wasn’t used to having people around and didn’t want a lot of company. His family wasn’t close so he wasn’t used to having children around as well. So I drew apart from my friends and saw my family less than I wanted too. Looking back now I know this was just a way of isolating me from my family and friends. I also began menopause this year as well….and I was NOT one of those women who had a few hot flashes and stopped their periods. I got every symptom of menopause and some that weren’t!! Anxiety, panic attacks, night terrors, mood swings, depression, hot flashes, body aches and pains just to name a few….it was ridiculous!! So as I was dealing with all of that I had the lifestyle change as well. Long about this time I noticed things weren’t right with my daughter. In 2006 I discovered that she was addicted to opiates. After the birth of her son, she was given Vicodin. (Don’t get me started on that!!! You don’t need pain meds after birth….you just pushed a person from your hoo ha….yep its gonna hurt for a few days…go home and rest it will go away on it’s own), then a week after delivery she got kidney stones and was given morphine at the hospital and a scrip for Vicodin when she was released….a week later she fell and broke her tail bone and you guessed it more Vicodin….before the month was over she had another kidney stone. So that got her started on a downward spiral and she to this day is still using. I had went back to fast food after my arm had healed but in the fall of 2006 there was some cuts and I was one of the ones cut. So I was without a job. That winter my tenants moved out and left my mobile home trashed. I didn’t have the money to fix things up so it was going to have to sit empty for a while. I still was responsible for paying the lot rent and now had no job. I looked but couldn’t find anything (its hard to find a job in the winter in a small town like I live in) when WL suggested that we go into business together.
Well I guess this is a good stopping point, there are a lot of things that begin to happen after this point and its getting late and life is rearing its ugly head and reminding me that I have things to do besides sitting here typing!! Hope everyone has a nice night! More later.